Latest Blog Posts

From 'Iron Man' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy': Ranking Marvel Studios' 10 films to date
Credit: Marvel Studios

From 'Iron Man' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy': Ranking Marvel Studios' 10 films to date

Can you guess no. 1?

Among all of Walt Disney Studios' properties, the division that has the most unblemished success is Pixar.  And frankly, from box office to Oscars that respect is well deserved.  While Lucasfilm is bringing on buzz worthy filmmakers and screenwriters to tackle the new standalone trilogy and spinoff movies, the only label with a chance of taking Pixar's crown is Marvel Studios.

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<p>&quot;Marry Me&quot;</p>

"Marry Me"

Credit: NBC

Take Me To The Pilots '14: NBC's 'Marry Me'

Is NBC's new comedy another 'Happy Endings'? And is that a good thing?

[In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots. I know some people will be all "These are reviews." If you've read me, you've read my reviews and you know this isn't what they look like.]

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Nicki Minaj and Beyonce

Beyonce takes on the 'elevator' incident in 'Flawless' remix featuring Nicki Minaj

Bey drops feisty new version in the middle of the night

Beyonce continues her pattern of releasing songs in the middle of the night.  While she and husband Jay Z were still on stage in the first of their two sold-out  “On The Run” shows at Pasadena’s Rose Bowl, a remix of “Flawless,” featuring Nicki Minaj, dropped down from Bey Heaven.

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<p>&quot;Madam Secretary&quot;</p>

"Madam Secretary"

Credit: CBS

Take Me To The Pilots '14: CBS' 'Madam Secretary'

Tea Leoni has lots to work with, but the show needs more focus

[In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots. I know some people will be all "These are reviews." If you've read me, you've read my reviews and you know this isn't what they look like.]

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Paul Feig rumored to be taking the helms of a female-driven 'Ghostbusters' reboot
Credit: Sony Pictures

Paul Feig rumored to be taking the helms of a female-driven 'Ghostbusters' reboot

There are plenty of funny people ready to star if this happens

Paul Feig is a very funny man. First and foremost, before any further conversation about the merits of a possible female-driven "Ghostbusters," let's be very clear about that. You should read "Kick Me: Adventures In Adolescence" and "Superstud: Or How I Became A 24-Year-Old Virgin" immediately, especially if you're a fan of "Freaks & Geeks." You'll see how his writings evolved into that show, particularly in terms of the way he uses brutal truth to get his laughs.

When I visited him on the set of "Bridesmaids," he was confident about the film he was making, and he was over-the-moon in regards to his cast. His background is such that he really loves performers, and he knows how to create an amazing atmosphere for them to play together. I'm not a big fan of "The Heat," but the same skill set is on display, and it's obvious that he was able to build that space for Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy.

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Former 'American Idol' finalist Michael Johns dies at 35

Former "American Idol" finalist Michael Johns dies at 35
The Australian-born singer, who finished 8th in 2008 on "Idol's" 7th season, died Friday due to a blood clot in his ankle.
 

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<p>&quot;Forever&quot;</p>

"Forever"

Credit: ABC

Take Me To The Pilots '14: ABC's 'Forever'

Immortal Sherlock Holmes drama is bland, but amiably bland

[In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots. I know some people will be all "These are reviews." If you've read me, you've read my reviews and you know this isn't what they look like.]

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Philadelphia's The Awesome Festival becomes Bruce Campbell Horror Film Festival
Credit: Universal Pictures

Philadelphia's The Awesome Festival becomes Bruce Campbell Horror Film Festival

A line-up of indie horror like this worth way more than $50

Philadelphia's Awesome Fest sounds… well… awesome.

To be clear, though, it appears this is an evolution of the already-existent event, which is now being called The Bruce Campbell Horror Film Festival. As you would expect with a name like that, Bruce Campbell will indeed be there as part of the four-day event in Rosemont, IL, where they'll also be screening a slate of horror titles curated by Scott Weinberg, horror maven and the resident critic at the just-killed FEARnet. They'll also have panels, and they've got some great ones planned. Overall, it looks like a really cool chance to see a fistful of the best of what indie horror has going on right now with bonuses that simply make the weekend better.

From August 21 to August 24, you'll be able to check out some great films. How? Well, here's how they put it:

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<p>&quot;Red Band Society&quot;</p>

"Red Band Society"

Credit: FOX

Take Me To The Pilots '14: FOX's 'Red Band Society'

Pediatric hospital dramedy is a lot like 'Glee.' Is that a good thing?

[In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots. I know some people will be all "These are reviews." If you've read me, you've read my reviews and you know this isn't what they look like.]

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<p>Clive Owen of &quot;The Knick&quot;</p>

Clive Owen of "The Knick"

Credit: Cinemax

Clive Owen explains his 'Knick' mustache and being 'The David Bowie of a Hospital in 1900'

Cinemax drama premieres on August 8

A couple weeks ago at the TCA press tour, I sat down with Clive Owen and Steven Soderbergh for a 45-minute discussion about their new Cinemax series "The Knick," a medical drama set around New York's Knickerbocker Hospital in 1900.

Soderbergh directed the totality of the first season, which focuses on Owen's Dr. John W. Thackery, a visionary surgeon who augments his forward-thinking approach to his profession with additions to cocaine and opium.

As you might expect, it's a wide-ranging interview covering the show's journey to Cinemax, the approach to the occasionally harrowing medical rituals of the period, the pressures of doing five two-hour movies consecutively and the decision to use a trippy score by Cliff Martinez.

It's a great interview and it'll go up sometime next week, ahead of the show's August 8 premiere on Cinemax.

While the full Q&A will be posted, I wanted to whet appetites with a couple details from Owen about some of the external aspects of his character, details that already have people chattering, either based on the posters and trailers or, in the case of my Twitter feed, based on early screeners.

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'Nashville' season premiere will feature 2 live performances

“Nashville” season premiere will feature 2 live performances
The East Coast broadcast will include live performances from the Bluebird Café set, one from Will Lexington and another from Deacon Claybourne.


“Sons of Anarchy” unveils its final season poster
It looks like the reaper is on Jax’s back.


Teen Choice Awards has found a new venue after UCLA flooding
This year’s TCAs, scheduled for UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion, will now take place Aug. 10 from the Shrine Auditorium.


“Chappelle’s Show” co-creator: “Louie” is the kale of television
"I’m going to put 'Two And A Half Men' in ‘Lowbrow but Brilliant’ vs ‘Louie,’” says Neal Brennan. “Again, I love Louie’s stand-up; I love the stand-up sections of the show. I find the narrative to be non-existent and kind of sloppy and kind of lazy. So, I’m putting him in ‘Lowbrow and Despicable.’ I think ‘Louie' is like the kale of television. I think people like to say they watch it but I don’t think anyone is really…”


“Manhattan” really shines in Episode 2
“Having successfully eaten television's mandated opening appetizer of raw fennel,” says Matt Zoller Seitz, "it's ready to move on to dishes that please the palates of everyone involved. You can practically hear the entire series sighing with relief that they've gotten the hard part over with.” PLUS: TV needs more science shows like “Manhattan."


As he enters the Pro Football Hall of Fame Saturday, Michael Strahan is everywhere
"Few retired athletes have parlayed their success on the field and their time in the nation’s largest media market into a second career in television as well as Strahan,” as the NY Times points out. "Stars like Frank Gifford and Tim McCarver blazed trails in the broadcast booth calling games, but Strahan is one of a handful of former players to work simultaneously in sports and entertainment television.” PLUS: Strahan and fiancee Nicole Murphy split up.


Is anybody watching Food Network?
Food’s primetime lineup appears to have declined in recent years.


Chris Pratt on “Parks and Rec”: “I think people are ready for it to be done”
Pratt is returning to work in two weeks after his whirlwind “Guardians of the Galaxy” publicity tour. "They’ve done a tremendous job,” he says of the writers, "but eventually you just run out of stories to tell about these characters without it becoming hackneyed and becoming sort of jumping the shark and turning into something that wouldn’t honor the characters.” PLUS: Pratt’s evolution from “Everwood” and “The O.C."


“Friends” star David Schwimmer is now directing “Breaking Bad’s” Anna Gunn
Schwimmer’s two-person play, "Sex With Strangers,” opens Wednesday.


How Letterman’s Stupid Pet Tricks was born
"We briefly considered Stupid Baby Tricks,” says former Letterman head writer (and girlfriend) Merrill Markoe, "but we were concerned that the idea would inspire desperate attention-seeking people to commit borderline child abuse."


Bristol Palin’s attorney denies she earned $0 in 2012 and 2013
The documents in her legal filming came from her baby’s daddy, Levi Johnston, says the lawyer.


Why did it take so long for “True Blood” to get around to Hurricane Katrina?
New showrunner Brian Buckner is doing what Alan Ball never did — acknowledge the 2005 storm’s effects on Louisiana. PLUS: Check out a box of “True Blood” props.


Why you should stick with “The Leftovers”
Despite its bleakness, the HBO drama is doing something not done on any other show. PLUS: To watch or not to watch?


HBO gives “Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways” a premiere date
The Dave Grohl-directed documentary series will air on Fridays at 11 pm, starting Oct. 17.


Chelsea Handler posts her bat-mitzvah photo
"Don't ever say I'm not a real Jew,” Handler wrote on Instagram.


Atheist TV debuts on the web
The president of American Atheists describes his new channel as “a place we can call our own, where we can speak the truth as frankly as we want.” It intends, he said, “to promote the idea that religion can and should be criticized.”


“Veep’s” Tony Hale unveils his children’s book
“Archibald’s Next Big Thing” is due out on Aug. 15.


What is Kirk from “Gilmore Girls” doing in “Guardians of the Galaxy”?
Turns out Sean Gunn, who played Kirk on all seven seasons of “Gilmore Girls,” is the brother of “Guardians” director James Gunn (and James Gunn is the ex-husband of “The Office’s” Jenna Fischer).


Fox buys an NYC crime drama from Richard Price
The noted crime writer and “Criminal Justice” creator’s project "centers on a twentysomething Wall Street portfolio manager who unwittingly becomes a pawn in the DA’s attempts to take down a criminal organization.”


Is “OITNB’s” Taylor Schilling the new Mary Tyler Moore?
Hayden Wright things so: "The very nature of Schilling's brilliance, like Mary Tyler Moore's, however, is her knack for knowing how and when to fade into the background. It's the subtlety of her upright posture, the openness of her expressions. She doesn't always get the punchline or the dramatic breakdown, but Schilling soldiers along as the unassuming lead of a dynamite ensemble we often find ourselves discussing instead. And she deserves an Emmy for it.” PLUS: Meet “OITNB’s” Miss Rosa.


Check out 10 awesome musical performances from “The Jon Stewart Show”
From Notorious B.I.G. to Van Halen.


Piers Morgan calls Larry King a “graceless, petty little man”
The former CNN host responded after King slammed him yet again.


Disney XD’s “Kickin’ It” takes on “Star Wars”
Here’s a preview of Monday’s “Star Wars”-themed episode.


A day in the life of a Times Square Elmo impersonator
Jorge, an immigrant from Mexico, is one of many Times Square Elmos. PLUS: A farmer uses Elmo as a scarecrow.


Watch "Weird Al” Yankovic take over MTV in 1984
“Weird Al” would occasionally host “AL-TV.”


“The Killing” ends on Netflix, a shadow of its former self
Not even the presence of Joan Allen in Season 4 can keep diehard viewers from wishing it would just conclude already. PLUS: “The Killing” never did achieve greatness, Season 4 is more a thriller than a somber grief melodrama, and “Killing” boss Veena Sud on the Netflix revival.


“The Knick” could be a game-changer for Cinemax
The 1900-set Steven Soderbergh drama starring Clive Owen, says Tim Goodman, "is a series that makes no rush to win support during its pilot, then audaciously walks the audience through another two hours of medical bleakness before arriving, in episode four, almost fully formed. That’s the HBO model to a scientific description, but in this case “almost” is an apt qualifier, because the series really arrives at its most important milestone by the sixth episode. By then, The Knick has fully enthralled with its merits.” PLUS: Soderbergh predicts half the viewers will look away from the gruesome scenes.

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'Ally McBeal’s' Peter MacNicol joins 'CSI:Cyber'

“Ally McBeal’s” Peter MacNicol joins “CSI:Cyber”
The “Numbers” alum is returning to CBS as a series regular on the “CSI” spinoff, playing Patricia Arquette’s supervisor.

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